Gujarat Environment Festival 2015

Gujarat Environment Festival 2015 Gujarat Environment Festival Programmes

Theme for 2015 festival is Co-Existence where we are aiming to engage multiple stakeholders towards meaningful conservation of urban natural resources including our green friends. Trees in urban areas are not just facing the pressure of development but are also under various other lesser known threats which lead to their slow killing. Intended or unintended mal-practices that damage out trees need to be stopped with peopleís support.

After all we do love trees for its benevolent nature but how are we giving back? Just as we pet dogs and cats and love them why canít we pet trees in our surroundings? Studies have proved, trees too have feelings and emotions, they feel the pain, but only difference is that they canít express in a language that we understand. The festival will encourage & empower stakeholders pan Gujarat to help the existing trees under FREE OUR TREES Campaign.

Harela Society, an environmental organization based in Uttarakhand will be participating in Gujarat Environment Festival to connect Gujarat with Himalaya through ďBEING WITH HIMALAYAĒ initiative. This will be a fund raising activity to extend support for the Himalayan country Nepalís earthquake relief activities.

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Free Our Tree Free Our Tree Free Our Tree

A Citizensí Movement to Safeguard Our Green Friends
Taking care of cityís existing green cover is just as import ant as extending it by planting more trees. The state government may be spending crores on tree plantation drives in urban areas but similar efforts are needed for the protection of our fully grown trees. There are several major threats to these existing well grown trees which constantly damage them. In spite of the menace being so rampant there are hardly any laws in the state to curtail the same.

WHY?
Hammering nails into trees causes it to die a slow death. The nails could damage the tissues responsible for moving water and nutrients through the tree. The tree could take longer to heal from the initial prick and therefore be under more stress. Trees weakened by nails driven into it are vulnerable to pests and disease. Similarly if a tree guard is not removed in time, it starts strangulating the tree and causes its death. Burning of leaf litter under the tree not only burns its leaves above but also dries up the roots and damages the bark. Cementing around the trees disrupts their growth, easily dries up the soil around its roots and stops easy percolation of water.

As part of the GEF2015 theme of CoExistence, Free Our Trees Campaign is planned as a citizensí movement across major cities and towns of Gujarat. Overall aim of this campaign is to inspire & empower individual volunteers, corporate employees, government departments, municipal corporations, media and local conservation organizations across the state to free 1Lakh trees from all possible threats to increase their health & lifespan. Following are the proposed activities as part of this campaign:

- Un-nailing the trees and removing the boards
- Removing of tree guards from grown trees
- Tagging the freed trees
- Street Plays
- Symposium/seminar on tree protection policy

Being With Himalayas

A Fund Raising Event for Nepal Earthquake Relief
As our commitment towards Himalaya, its ecosystem and people co-existing with it we are inviting Harela Society, a dedicated environmental organization from Uttarakhand to exhibit photographs, conduct talk and films on coexistence with Himalaya. This effort is aimed at sensitizing people of Gujarat about the importance of Himalaya and need for its conservation. The photographs will be put on sale to generate funds to support Nepal earthquake relief activities. Following activities are planned:

- Exhibition of Photographs
- Screening of Films on Himalaya
- Talk on Co-existence with Himalaya